New article published: Don’t yell at Grandma

My article was just published just in time for that holiday dinner. Through the story of my 101-year old late aunt Yaya Frosou who lived most of her century in a Greek village (where my Dad was born), the op-ed explores the tricky maneuver of rejecting food at holiday/family gatherings *without* rejecting the person. I loved my Yaya Frosou — and also my aunts Patra and Katie, who took particular care to make traditional Greek dishes vegan for me from 2002 onward. In fact it was their loving acceptance (albeit with some good-natured questioning) that helped me learn how to … Keep goin’

How to find an absentee lot-lord

Even before we moved into our home here in South Philly, we were happily greeted by our block captain, Courtney, with brochures on planting trees, recycling, and more. She told Rob and I about “cafe-ing” which is a South Philly thing where you pull out your camping chairs and sit on the sidewalk with neighbors. Almost every day, she picks up trash and advocates for the neighborhood and people. The (non-hostile) takeover A couple months ago Courtney, her partner Matt, and Rob and I decided to “take over” a trash-filled vacant lot down the street, planting flowers, installing fence posts, … Keep goin’

Weston: Selling a dream

What are you selling when you’re selling a notoriously unreliable, unpredictable vehicle?   In 2007 we had the conversation: We need a vehicle that we can live in while we tour for a year with my film Seeing through the Fence and our band Beloved Binge. Something we can take into the city but also camp in. What better than a classic VW camper van? We, like many we’ve come to meet over the years, were fascinated with the Westfalia. The top “pops”!   The kitchen cooks! The chair swivels for the mustachioed man!   Room for our gear in … Keep goin’

Stranger

Stranger Xenos (Greek: ξένος) “stranger;” or “guest friend.” Will you permit me (as a proud 1/2 Greek) the stereotypical Greek-splaining of the meaning of a word with Greek roots? (As in, “Psychology — that’s a Greek word! Psy-cho-logia, get it? Weren’t the Greeks great?”) The word “xenos” translated as “stranger” in Greek embodies a range of meanings from possible enemy to a most welcoming “guest friend” and “one entitled to hospitality” supported by the well-known Greek hospitality. I’m not saying that Greeks aren’t capable of xenophobia, but they fear a good God or two; at least that is the tale … Keep goin’